Inevitably, given the decision to record all the lost episodes from the first season of The Avengers, there are going to be a few scripts that aren’t as strong as they could be. Bearing in mind the – in my view correct – decision to stick with what was shown in 1961, or at least hew as near as possible to that, adapter John Dorney and the team simply can’t sort out some of the problems that the scripts may face with a top to bottom rewrite.
The Springers is by no means The Avengers at its best, even if it does have some good moments, and, to be fair, some of the elements that may seem weak are in fact true to life. The episode was written and broadcast five years before George Blake’s escape from Wormwood Scrubs, which was as simplistic as the escape shown here. (That would inspire Desmond Bagley’s novel The Freedom Trap which was later filmed as The Macintosh Man; one has to wonder if Bagley watched this episode, as there are certain touches in common.)
It’s certainly good to have more scenes with One-Ten, brought to life here by Dan Starkey, and partnering Steed with a young female assistant does feel like foreshadowing the changes that the show would undergo for the second year. Of course if this was later Avengers, the school would be populated with some form of caricature of teachers and matrons, rather than the straight characters we meet here!
Verdict: Ken Bentley, John Dorney and co. have once again done what they set out to do – faithfully recreate this era – and the audio version never fails to be entertaining. 7/10